Saturday, July 14, 2007

Breakfast in Chicago

It seems we did nothing but eat while we were in Chicago, which I suppose it as it should be. We did all the standards, of course; Chicago-style hot dogs (love the sport peppers), steak, deep dish pizza. We also ate Thai, Cajun and Szechuan. I cooked for people, too, since that was sort of my point in going to Chicago in the first place.

The first night we were in town we caught a Food Network show wherein Giada Delaurentiis ate her way through Chicago. She featured a breakfast place called Orange on Harrison that got The Child very excited so I promised her we'd visit. We finally made it there on the last morning of our stay.

It's a hip little spot, sunny and open, with service that is casually friendly and quick. The Child was enamoured of the faux orange trees that "grew" out of the walls.

I'm all for cute restaurants and pleasant waitstaff but the tell is the food. And Orange delivers. We were drawn there by specific menu items and although the breakfast selections were all very tempting, we ordered what we came for.

First, The Spouse and The Child indulged in Orange's do-it-yourself juice menu. You pick the combinations, they juice it up for you on the spot. The Spouse stuck with orange juice but The Child ordered watermelon and lime (inspired, no doubt, by her Uncle Buck's frozen watermelon dacquiries. And of course hers was a virgin drink. Sheesh). Her only complaint was that she didn't order a larger drink because it was very refreshing. (I stuck with coffee).

Then it was on to the appetizer course of "fruishi".

Is that adorable or what?

The sticky rice is slightly sweetened and then rolled like regular sushi. The morning of our visit the fruishi menu was kiwi sashimi and strawberry rolls. The fruit was perfect, the rice spot on and not too icky sweet. We could easily have ordered more but there were other things to try.

Specifically, I was in the mood for French toast kabobs, bread soaked in coconut infused milk and eggs shares the skewer with strawberries and pineapple and is then grilled. (They also serve you a couple regular slices of French toast, so it's a substantial meal). The skewers rest on a compote of mango and coconut and the plate is decorated with purees of strawberry and mango. The waitress pointed out the maple syrup on the table, but much as I love syrup on my French toast, it wasn't required. The purees were just little pure puddles of fruit essence and served the toast very well.
The Child ordered green eggs and ham, a mound of the same, scrambled with pesto and topped with big slabs of mozzerella. Bits of tomato hid in the scramble, giving it the air of a caprese salad. It came with some sort of potao side that we never even tried, the eggs being quite enough to satisfy hunger.

Another little treat was the water. It was served with a round of cucumber floating in it, something I've never had before, and it was wonderful. In fact, the other day, when the temperatures reached into the high 90s, we made ourselves some and it was tres refreshing. Highly recommend it.

It was a lovely breakfast and ample enough to fuel a walk to the Art Institute and keep us sated until well into the afternoon. If you are ever in the Windy City you have to give Orange a try.

Orange on Harrison
75 W. Harrison, Chicago, IL, 60605


Anonymous said...

Yes, that food is decidedly adorable. Oh I'd still snarf it down same as I would a fat ol' chili dog. But I would definitely admire it's 'pretty factor' first.

Lorraine said...

Yes, Hat, the snarfing is pretty much a given. But dang, it was a sight to behold.